One great museum, two fabulous locations.

: Upcoming Exhibitions

SHIFT—Five Decades of Contemporary California Painting

from the collections of the Monterey Museum of Art and the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula

May 1–September 22, 2014
MMA La Mirada

SHIFT—Five Decades of Contemporary California Painting is an exhibition organized by the Monterey Museum of Art in celebration of the Museum’s 55th anniversary featuring a selection of the contemporary art collection, together with generous loans from the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. This exhibition features 55 paintings from the 1960s to the present that explore a wide range of styles and aesthetic perspectives. The works embrace experimentation and risk, as the artists boldly investigate color, gesture, surface, and composition. From the early modernist influences of the 1930s and 1940s, to subsequent generations of San Francisco Bay Area Abstractionists of the 1950s to the 1970s, painting on canvas shifted to a higher tempo and found new modes of expression. The diverse selection of works attests to the cross-cultural fusion that expanded ideas, methodologies, and practices of what painting could be and achieve. Contemporary art is the Monterey Museum of Art’s fastest growing domain, in a collection that focuses on California art—past, present, and future. This exhibition sheds new light on well-known and underrepresented California artists whose work pushes boundaries and boldly explores new terrain.

Image: Alan Parker, Double Boustrophedon, 1981, oil on canvas. MMA Acquisition Fund Purchase in honor of June Braucht © 2014 Estate of Alan Parker

Art in Bloom

May 1–5, 2014
MMA La Mirada

Art in Bloom at the Museum is a 5-day event showcasing floral interpretations of great works of art. Top floral designers from the Central Coast will create extraordinary interpretations of artwork in flowers for display during a major exhibition, SHIFT: Five Decades of Contemporary California Painting. Contemporary art is the Museum’s fastest growing collection area and expresses our commitment to the evolving California legacy.

As part of our 55th Anniversary celebration SHIFT focuses on significant works in the collection, as well as fifteen paintings generously lent from the distinguished collection of the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP). The exhibition opens on May 1st and will be on view until September 22nd, 2014. A full program of events during Art in Bloom will be offered May 1st–5th, 11am–8pm.

Image: Art in Bloom 2013 photography by Moss Media Carmel

Jules Tavernier: Artist and Adventurer

June 6–October 20, 2014
MMA Pacific Street

French artist Jules Tavernier (1844­–1889) was one of the American West’s pioneering talents and a great adventurer. This exhibition surveys the artist's career, presenting a hundred works of art. It includes his early transcontinental illustrations for "Harper's Weekly,” paintings of Native American subjects, and scenes of the San Francisco Bay area and the Monterey Peninsula, where he founded the local art colony in 1875.  Tavernier is credited as the artist who started it all in Monterey and his reputation continued to grow in California. He flourished in the budding social and cultural scene, leading a colorful life. The artist became a member of San Francisco’s newly established Bohemian Club, hosting elaborate parties and taking part in celebratory outdoor revels. The Monterey coast’s natural beauty appealed to Tavernier’s imagination and his penchant for landscape painting, drawing on his early training in France. His Monterey period yielded some of the most audacious work of his career. The exhibition also features Tavernier’s signature paintings of erupting volcanoes, which he painted in Hawaii before his untimely death at age forty-five.

Organized by the Crocker Art Museum, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue—the first to feature Tavernier exclusively.  The book features essays by Scott A. Shields, Ph.D., the Crocker's chief curator and associate director, as well as Claudine Chalmers, Ph.D., and Alfred Harrison, Jr.

Image: Jules Tavernier (French, 1844–1889), A Balloon in Mid-Air, 1875. Oil on canvas, 30x 50 inches. Private collection

Monterey Now: Malin Lager

June 6–October 20, 2014
MMA Pacific Street

Textile artist Malin Lager (Swedish, b. 1946) creates astonishingly detailed wall works using a sewing machine and thread. Her masterful creations resemble illusionistic paintings that address evocative and challenging universal themes.  Her subjects range from lichen covered rocks, wet cobblestone streets, and profound portraits of her family and friends. Lager’s extraordinary artworks fabricated on stretched canvas are so expertly rendered and sharp that they are often mistaken for oil paintings. Her skill and artistry in this medium border on the implausible and must be experienced in person to be fully understood. Lager’s meticulous process begins with vividly colored strands of thread layered over a patched fabric background, similar to traditional methods in painting—such as under-painting—in order lay down color and composition. Using the sewing machine as an expressive tool, Lager’s stitches create crosshatched marks that incorporate a broad, colorful palette of threads from dark to light.

Creative experimentation has been part of her environment since childhood, as she belongs to a Swedish family rich with four generations of artists. Lager has exhibited widely in Sweden, and her work has been collected by the National Museum, Stockholm, among other institutions. She spends significant stretches of time in the Monterey Bay area. This exhibition at the Monterey Museum of Art marks Malin Lager’s first museum show in California.

The Monterey Now series honors local artists who make significant contributions to the visual arts in the Monterey Bay area and beyond.

Image: Malin Lager, Emelie II, 2013, textile and embroidery ©2014 Malin Lager